Gurdjieff: The Soul, The First Initiation and Christianity

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
#16
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

beau said:
G also wrote that the origin of his teachings were "pre-Egypt" which possibly could mean of Atlantean origin?? I'm fairly sure that he termed his ideas esoteric Christianity in ISOTM. Apparently, Mouravieff had a semi-hostile attitude towards G's work as M worked with Ouspensky but did not find much resonance in G's teachings. So I would not be surprised if their two philosophies on soul differed.
Indeed. And Fulcanelli hinted at a "different Egypt" also. All of this becomes quite clear when one considers the work of Iman Wilkens: Where Troy Once Stood. (Some stuff about it here: http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/Laura-Knight-Jadczyk/article-lkj-04-03-06-h.htm )

Here's what Gurdjieff said about it:

"Generally speaking we know very little about Christianity and the form of Christian worship; we know nothing at all of the history and origin of a number of things.

For instance, the church, the temple in which gather the faithful and in which services are carried out according to special rites; where was this taken from?

Many people do not think about this at all. Many people think that the outward form of worship, the rites, the singing of canticles, and so on, were invented by the fathers of the church. Others think that this outward form has been taken partly from pagan religions and partly from the Hebrews.

But all of it is untrue.

The question of the origin of the Christian church, that is, of the Christian temple, is much more interesting than we think. To begin with, the church and worship in the form which they took in the first centuries of Christianity could not have been borrowed from paganism because there was nothing like it either in the Greek or Roman cults or in Judaism.

The Jewish synagogue, the Jewish temple, Greek and Roman temples of various gods, were something quite different from the Christian church which made its appearance in the first and second centuries.

The Christian church is—a school concerning which people have forgotten that it is a school. Imagine a school where the teachers give lectures and perform explanatory demonstrations without knowing that these are lectures and demonstrations; and where the pupils or simply the people who come to the school take these lectures and demonstrations for ceremonies, or rites, or 'sacraments,' i.e., magic. This would approximate to the Christian church of our times.

"The Christian church, the Christian form of worship, was not invented by the fathers of the church. It was all taken in a ready-made form from Egypt, only not from the Egypt that we know but from one which we do not know. This Egypt was in the same place as the other but it existed much earlier. Only small bits of it survived in historical times, and these bits have been preserved in secret and so well that we do not even know where they have been preserved.

"It will seem strange to many people when I say that this prehistoric Egypt was Christian many thousands of years before the birth of Christ, that is to say, that its religion was composed of the same principles and ideas that constitute true Christianity. Special schools existed in this prehistoric Egypt which were called 'schools of repetition.' In these schools a public repetition was given on definite days, and in some schools perhaps even every day, of the entire course in a condensed form of the sciences that could be learned at these schools. Sometimes this repetition lasted a week or a month. Thanks to these repetitions people who had
Now, Gurdjieff said that this ancient Egypt was in the same location as the present Egypt. I think he missed the cue on that one.

As work on Homer's puzzle progressed, it turned out that many towns, islands and countries were not yet known in the eastern Mediterranean at the time of the Trojan War by the names mentioned by the poet.

Places like Thebes, Crete, Lesbos, Cyprus and Egypt had entirely different names in the Bronze Age, as we now know from archaeological research. The theatre of Homer's epics can therefore never have been in the Mediterranean, just as, say an epic found in the United States about a Medieval war, mentioning European place-names (which can be found in both countries) could not have taken place there, as the American continent had not yet been discovered!

As to Homer's place names, we are confronted with a similar problem but it is not really surprising that such a fundamental error in chronology could persist for some 2,700 years as traditional beliefs handed down over a long period are seldom challenged: each generation simply repeats the teachings of the previous one without asking itself the proper questions.

But now that this problem of timing has come to light, we are obliged to look for Homer's places elsewhere than the eastern Mediterranean, and situated near the ocean and its tides, in particular where dykes prevented low-lying areas from flooding. In other words: we have to look for Homer's places along the Atlantic coast.

The outcome of this research will be unsettling to many and I also realize from my own experience that it takes some time to get accustomed to the Bronze Age geography of Europe. The best way of adjusting is by reading Homer together with the explanations and maps of this book. Those who remain sceptical should realize that the problem of place-name chronology in general and the phenomenon of oceanic tides in particular, exclude any alternative solution. [...]

At first sight it seems impossible to penetrate such a very distant past, but it turns out to be still feasible to discover what happened over 3,000 years ago, and precisely where, thanks to the branch of linguistics dealing with the history of word forms - etymology.

While the Greek spelling of Homer's geographical names was fixed once and for all when the poems were written down ... place names in western Europe went on changing in accordance with more or less well-established etymological rules, to be fixed by spelling only relatively recently.

Taking this fact into account, we shall see how virtually 400 odd Homeric place-names can be matched in a coherent and logical fashion with western European place-names as we know them today. Many of them are still easily recognizable, others very much less so, often because they have changed by invaders speaking a different language.

Even over the last few centuries, some place-names around the world have changed beyond recognition, due to pronunciation by peoples of different languages. Who, for example, would believe that Brooklyn in New York comes from the Dutch place name Breukelen, if it were not a documented fact?

While it is not possible to prove anything that occurred more than 3,000 years ago, I hope that my detective work has at least produced sufficient circumstantial evidence to convince the readers that the famous city of Troy was situated in western Europe. [...]

The reason for the longevity of place names in general and river names in particular is that conquerors generally adopt the already-existing name, although often modified or adapted to their own tongue.

A major exception to this rule is Greece, where invaders arriving in a country almost emptied of its population gave new names to many places - names familiar to them and appearing in Homer's works. But people arriving in a new and sparsely populated country of course give familiar names to places in a haphazard kind of way.

In Australia, for example, Cardiff, Gateshead, Hamilton, Jesmond, Stockton, Swansea, and Walsend, widely scattered in Britain, are all suburbs of Newcastle, New South Wales. It is precisely this haphazard transposition of names that explains, for example, why Rhodes is an island in Greece, but a region in Homer; Euboea is another Greek island, but part of the continent in Homer; Chios yet another island, but not in Homer. Similarly, Homer speaks of an island called Syria which clearly cannot be Syros in the Cyclades. The reader may object that these are simply imprecisions due to the extreme antiquity of the text. But we have evidence that the present Egypt, Cyprus, Lesbos and Crete, all names appearing in Homer, were not known by those names in the Bronze Age.

The list of such anomalies is long. Even the identification of such Homeric places as Ithaca and Pylos has led to endless and inconclusive discussion among scholars and the difficulty of making sense of Homer in Greece or Turkey is brought out in recent studies by Malcolm Wilcock and G.S. Kirk. It is therefore clear that the poet, though he uses names we recognize, was not talking about the places that now bear those names. [Where Troy Once Stood, Wilkens, p. 52-53]
And of course, I have woven a thread of "esoteric christianity" all through "The Secret History of the World."
 

alwyn

Padawan Learner
#17
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

Laura said:
Another interesting item popped up:

http://geocities.com/metaco8nitron/moore.html

"Neo-Sufism: The Case of Idries Shah"

by James Moore
Hmmm. Dig a little deeper.

http://allrss.com/wikipedia.php?title=Talk:Idries_Shah#Moore_vs_Shah

http://www.anulios.org/weblog/comments/165/

James Moore is a Gurdjieffian 'teacher', and hardly unbiased. Many of his comments about Shah have been disproven. But, as the sufis say, the proof is in the pudding. Or is that the English? Having met (and studied with) proponents of both schools, I know which ones I prefer. And I must say that the Gurdjieffians I studied with were a lot closer to the description you have posted on sociopaths...the sufi description was that Gurdjieff lacked a conscience.

But that's my experience. And offered as grist for the mill.

Then there's this: from: http://members4.boardhost.com/ibrahim_gam/msg/1177791813.html

P.S. - You may be interested in the following passage from Gurdjieff's autobiography "Meetings With Remarkable Men", which almost openly admits he's lying to his readers in exchange for money:

...There I was in the steppes of Asia, with hundreds of followers of my ideas dependent upon me for sustenance and only two rubles in my tattered pocket. However, possessing in my humble opinion both an unusual resourcefulness and a spirit determined to turn even this affair to advantage, I collected six thousand pounds of dung and, painting and scenting it with unguents that just happened to be nearby, I summoned my admittedly seasoned arts of persuasion* and wiseacring and announced to all passersby the sale of MAGICAL BEAUTY POULTICES which when applied daily to the face entirely suspended the aging process, enhanced one's sensuality, and contributed toward the formation of a permanent "I." Having not the slightest compunction at so cleverly turning a profit from the mental laziness of my fellow human beings, who nevertheless sensed unconsciously the importance of my mission for mankind, I expanded my own "I" by making ten million in three hours, thereby enabling us to continue our search for truth (and our escape from those we'd bilked via the sacred movement exit, stage left) with a tidy sum left over.

But everything I said about finding the Sarmoun Brotherhood really happened.

Trust me.

* This is not the time to describe such arts of persuasion; they will be dealt with in detail in my forthcoming book The Place of Deception in the Harmonious Development of Man, Volume XVIII in my Ends Justify The Means Series."


Gurdjieff was many things: saint, trickster, author, teacher,family man and wily conman. Are these the acts of someone concerned with STO by definition? Seems pretty self-serving to me. And maybe any external teacher is just a sacred ox. Sooner or later you have to gore it to get on with your path. Just some midnight musings...
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
#18
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

alwyn said:
Hmmm. Dig a little deeper.

http://allrss.com/wikipedia.php?title=Talk:Idries_Shah#Moore_vs_Shah
I didn't find the above to be very compelling. The writing style - pompous and condescending - was a real turn-off.

alwyn said:
http://www.anulios.org/weblog/comments/165/

James Moore is a Gurdjieffian 'teacher', and hardly unbiased.
Well, in a sense, I, too, am a "Gurdjieffian teacher" so I expect that I am unbiased as well. The only thing I can tell you is that I did not start out to be a Gurdjieffian teacher. Gurdjieff was just one of many interesting works I read in searching for clues and answers. It has only been after quite a few years of working with people and dealing with the "real world" out there that I have come to better appreciate Gurdjieff's wisdom in nearly everything he said and did.

alwyn said:
Many of his comments about Shah have been disproven.
I didn't see any disproving going on. I saw a rambling, pompous essay that really didn't address a single issues in a direct and clear way. But then, maybe it is because I am a "Gurdjieffian" that I value clarity.

alwyn said:
But, as the sufis say, the proof is in the pudding. Or is that the English? Having met (and studied with) proponents of both schools, I know which ones I prefer.
Me too. That's why this forum is Gurdjieff focused as is describes in the rules.

alwyn said:
And I must say that the Gurdjieffians I studied with were a lot closer to the description you have posted on sociopaths...
That may very well be true. Gurdjieff himself described what would happen to his work:

"The fourth way differs from the old and the new ways by the fact that it is never a permanent way. It has no definite forms and there are no institutions connected with it. It appears and disappears governed by some particular laws of its own.

"The fourth way is never without some work of a definite significance, is never without some undertaking around which and in connection with which it can alone exist. When this work is finished, that is to say, when the aim set before it has been accomplished, the fourth way disappears, that is, it disappears from the given place, disappears in its given form, continuing perhaps in another place in another form. Schools of the fourth way exist for the needs of the work which is being carried out in connection with the proposed undertaking. They never exist by themselves as schools for the purpose of education and instruction.

"Mechanical help cannot be required in any work of the fourth way. Only conscious work can be useful in all the undertakings of the fourth way. Mechanical man cannot give conscious work so that the first task of the people who begin such a work is to create conscious assistants.

"The work itself of schools of the fourth way can have very many forms and many meanings. In the midst of the ordinary conditions of life the only chance a man has of finding a 'way' is in the possibility of meeting with the beginning of work of this kind. But the chance of meeting with such work as well as the possibility of profiting by this chance depends upon many circumstances and conditions.

"The quicker a man grasps the aim of the work which is being executed, the quicker can he become useful to it and the more will he be able to get from it for himself.

"But no matter what the fundamental aim of the work is, the schools continue to exist only while this work is going on. When the work is done the schools close. The people who began the work leave the stage. Those who have learned from them what was possible to learn and have reached the possibility of continuing on the way independently begin in one form or another their own personal work.

"But it happens sometimes that when the school closes a number of people are left who were round about the work, who saw the outward aspect of it, and saw the whole of the work in this outward aspect.

"Having no doubts whatever of themselves or in the correctness of their conclusions and understanding they decide to continue the work. To continue this work they form new schools, teach people what they have themselves learned, and give them the same promises that they themselves received. All this naturally can only be outward imitation.b


"But when we look back on history it is almost impossible for us to distinguish where the real ends and where the imitation begins. Strictly speaking almost everything we know about various kinds of occult, masonic, and alchemical schools refers to such imitation. We know practically nothing about real schools excepting the results of their work and even that only if we are able to distinguish the results of real work from counterfeits and imitations.

"But such pseudo-esoteric systems also play their part in the work and activities of esoteric circles. Namely, they are the intermediaries between humanity which is entirely immersed in the materialistic life and schools which are interested in the education of a certain number of people, as much for the purposes of their own existences as for the purposes of the work of a cosmic character which they may be carrying out. The very idea of esotericism, the idea of initiation, reaches people in most cases through pseudo-esoteric systems and schools; and if there were not these pseudo-esoteric schools the vast majority of humanity would have no possibility whatever of hearing and learning of the existence of anything greater than life because the truth in its pure form would be inaccessible for them.

By reason of the many characteristics of man's being, particularly of the contemporary being, truth can only come to people in the form of a lie— only in this form are they able to accept it; only in this form are they able to digest and assimilate it. Truth undefiled would be, for them, indigestible food. [...]

"The idea of initiation, which reaches us through pseudo-esoteric systems, is also transmitted to us in a completely wrong form. The legends concerning the outward rites of initiation have been created out of the scraps of information we possess in regard to the ancient Mysteries. The Mysteries represented a special kind of way in which, side by side with a difficult and prolonged period of study, theatrical representations of a special kind were given which depicted in allegorical forms the whole path of the evolution of man and the world.

"Transitions from one level of being to another were marked by ceremonies of presentation of a special kind, that is, initiation. But a change of being cannot be brought about by any rites. Rites can only mark an accomplished transition. And it is only in pseudo-esoteric systems in which there is nothing else except these rites, that they begin to attribute to the rites an independent meaning. It is supposed that a rite, in being transformed into a sacrament, transmits or communicates certain forces to the initiate. This again relates to the psychology of an imitation way. There is not, nor can there be, any outward initiation. In reality only self-initiation, self-presentation exist. Systems and schools can indicate methods and ways, but no system or school whatever can do for a man the work that he must do himself. Inner growth, a change of being, depend entirely upon the work which a man must do on himself."
So, just because the Gurdjieffian teachers you have met remind you of sociopaths, doesn't mean anything about Gurdjieff... in fact, it suggests that what he was doing was far more important that one might initially think.

On the other hand, the fact that there are so many almost fanatical supporters of Shah points in the other direction.

That's the way things go in the real world.

alwyn said:
the sufi description was that Gurdjieff lacked a conscience.
What "Sufi description" ? Sez who, in particular? We work every day with Gurdjieff's ideas about conscience and I have never found any that better fit the reality of this world:

Gurdjieff on conscience said:
" 'Conscience' is again a term that needs explanation.

"In ordinary life the concept 'conscience' is taken too simply. As if we had a conscience. Actually the concept 'conscience' in the sphere of the emotions is equivalent to the concept 'consciousness' in the sphere of the intellect. And as we have no consciousness we have no conscience.

"Consciousness is a state in which a man knows all at once everything that he in general knows and in which he can see how little he does know and how many contradictions there are in what he knows.

"Conscience is a state in which a man feels all at once everything that he in general feels, or can feel. And as everyone has within him thousands of contradictory feelings which vary from a deeply hidden realization of his own nothingness and fears of all kinds to the most stupid kind of self-conceit, self-confidence, self-satisfaction, and self-praise, to feel all this together would not only be painful but literally unbearable.

"If a man whose entire inner world is composed of contradictions were suddenly to feel all these contradictions simultaneously within himself, if he were to feel all at once that he loves everything he hates and hates everything he loves; that he lies when he tells the truth and that he tells the truth when he lies; and if he could feel the shame and horror of it all, this would be the state which is called 'conscience. A man cannot live in this state; he must either destroy contradictions or destroy conscience. He cannot destroy conscience, but if he cannot destroy it he can put it to sleep, that is, he can separate by impenetrable barriers one feeling of self from another, never see them together, never feel their incompatibility, the absurdity of one existing alongside another.

"But fortunately for man, that is, for his peace and for his sleep, this state of conscience is very rare. From early childhood 'buffers' begin to grow and strengthen in him, taking from him the possibility of seeing his inner contradictions and therefore, for him, there is no danger whatever of a sudden awakening.

"Awakening is possible only for those who seek it and want it, for those who are ready to struggle with themselves and work on themselves for a very long time and very persistently in order to attain it. For this it is necessary to destroy 'buffers,' that is, to go out to meet all those inner sufferings which are connected with the sensations of contradictions. Moreover the destruction of 'buffers' in itself requires very long work and a man must agree to this work realizing that the result of his work will be every possible discomfort and suffering from the awakening of his conscience.

"But conscience is the fire which alone can fuse all the powders in the glass retort which was mentioned before and create the unity which a man lacks in that state in which he begins to study himself.

"The concept 'conscience' has nothing in common with the concept 'morality.'

"Conscience is a general and a permanent phenomenon. Conscience is the same for all men and conscience is possible only in the absence of 'buffers.' From the point of view of understanding the different categories of man we may say that there exists the conscience of a man in whom there are no contradictions. This conscience is not suffering; on the contrary it is joy of a totally new character which we are unable to understand. But even a momentary awakening of conscience in a man who has thousands of different I's is bound to involve suffering.

"And if these moments of conscience become longer and if a man does not fear them but on the contrary cooperates with them and tries to keep and prolong them, an element of very subtle joy, a foretaste of the future 'clear consciousness' will gradually enter into these moments.

"There is nothing general in the concept of 'morality.' Morality consists of buffers. There is no general morality. What is moral in China is immoral in Europe and what is moral in Europe is immoral in China. What is moral in Petersburg is immoral in the Caucasus. And what is moral in the Caucasus is immoral in Petersburg. What is moral in one class of society is immoral in another and vice versa.

"Morality is always and everywhere an artificial phenomenon. It consists of various 'taboos,' that is, restrictions, and various demands, sometimes sensible in their basis and sometimes having lost all meaning or never even having had any meaning, and having been created on a false basis, on a soil of superstition and false fears.

"Morality consists of 'buffers.' And since 'buffers' are of various kinds, and as the conditions of life in different countries and in different ages or among different classes of society vary considerably, so the morality created by them is also very dissimilar and contradictory.

"A morality common to all does not exist. It is even impossible to say that there exists any general idea of morality, for instance, in Europe. It is said sometimes that the general morality for Europe is 'Christian morality.' But first of all the idea of 'Christian morality' itself admits of very many different interpretations and many different crimes have been justified by 'Christian morality.' And in the second place modern Europe has very little in common with 'Christian morality,' no matter how we understand this morality.

"In any case, if 'Christian morality' brought Europe to the war which is now going on, then it would be as well to be as far as possible from such morality,"

"Many people say that they do not understand the moral side of your teaching," said one of us. "And others say that your teaching has no morality at all."

"Of course not," said G. "People are very fond of talking about morality. But morality is merely self-suggestion. What is necessary is conscience. We do not teach morality. We teach how to find conscience.

"People are not pleased when we say this. They say that we have no love. Simply because we do not encourage weakness and hypocrisy but, on the contrary, take off all masks.

"He who desires the truth will not speak of love or of Christianity because he knows how far he is from these. Christian teaching is for Christians. And Christians are those who live, that is, who do everything, according to Christ's precepts. Can they who talk of love and morality live according to Christ's precepts? Of course they cannot; but there will always be talk of this kind, there will always be people to whom words are more precious than anything else. But this is a true sign! He who speaks like this is an empty man; it is not worth while wasting time on him.
alwyn said:
But that's my experience. And offered as grist for the mill.
Do you have a body of work behind you? Do you work with people? If not, you don't even have grist for the mill. As Gurdjieff says "there will always be people to whom words are more precious than anything else. But this is a true sign! He who speaks like this is an empty man; it is not worth while wasting time on him."

alwyn said:
Then there's this: from: http://members4.boardhost.com/ibrahim_gam/msg/1177791813.html

P.S. - You may be interested in the following passage from Gurdjieff's autobiography "Meetings With Remarkable Men", which almost openly admits he's lying to his readers in exchange for money:

...There I was in the steppes of Asia, with hundreds of followers of my ideas dependent upon me for sustenance and only two rubles in my tattered pocket. However, possessing in my humble opinion both an unusual resourcefulness and a spirit determined to turn even this affair to advantage, I collected six thousand pounds of dung and, painting and scenting it with unguents that just happened to be nearby, I summoned my admittedly seasoned arts of persuasion* and wiseacring and announced to all passersby the sale of MAGICAL BEAUTY POULTICES which when applied daily to the face entirely suspended the aging process, enhanced one's sensuality, and contributed toward the formation of a permanent "I." Having not the slightest compunction at so cleverly turning a profit from the mental laziness of my fellow human beings, who nevertheless sensed unconsciously the importance of my mission for mankind, I expanded my own "I" by making ten million in three hours, thereby enabling us to continue our search for truth (and our escape from those we'd bilked via the sacred movement exit, stage left) with a tidy sum left over.

But everything I said about finding the Sarmoun Brotherhood really happened.

Trust me.

* This is not the time to describe such arts of persuasion; they will be dealt with in detail in my forthcoming book The Place of Deception in the Harmonious Development of Man, Volume XVIII in my Ends Justify The Means Series."
The person who wrote the above comes across as a brown-nosing poseur exactly as Gurdjieff described: "there will always be people to whom words are more precious than anything else. But this is a true sign! He who speaks like this is an empty man; it is not worth while wasting time on him." But then, that's just my assessment after years of working with people on a daily basis and learning, as Gurdjieff did, how to "read" them and to "see the unseen."

The story itself I find very entertaining and instructive. It is a story of true and transcendent conscience, not morality. Gurdjieff was an amazing human being and if someone cannot see his devotion to humanity by his deeds and the way he lived his life, the enormous suffering he endured for the sake of others, then there's really nothing that can be said to change that.


alwyn said:
Gurdjieff was many things: saint, trickster, author, teacher, family man and wily conman. Are these the acts of someone concerned with STO by definition? Seems pretty self-serving to me. And maybe any external teacher is just a sacred ox. Sooner or later you have to gore it to get on with your path. Just some midnight musings...
I think you have a very distorted idea of what it is to be human - which is, by definition, STS - and possibly an "STO candidate." I also see that you have no clue about conscience and that you are more interested in words that mean little. My suggestion would be that you join this forum here _http://members4.boardhost.com/ibrahim_gam/msg/1177791813.html where you will certainly feel more at home.
 

alwyn

Padawan Learner
#19
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

Laura said:
http://allrss.com/wikipedia.php?title=Talk:Idries_Shah#Moore_vs_Shah
I didn't find the above to be very compelling. The writing style - pompous and condescending - was a real turn-off.
I didn't know that writing style was a component of the work. As it is, wikipedia, by definition it is written by people, pompous or otherwise. I had come across the Moore/Shah arguments a couple of years earlier on the web; I had, at that time found some quite elegant refutations, but I was unable to find them last night. I didn't have oodles of time.

Well, in a sense, I, too, am a "Gurdjieffian teacher" so I expect that I am unbiased as well.
Actually, from what I have read of you, you go out of your way to be fair and unbiased. I apologize if this came across as a personal attack. That was not my intent. I am sometimes unthinkingly blunt. I am struggling with this.

Gurdjieff was just one of many interesting works I read in searching for clues and answers. It has only been after quite a few years of working with people and dealing with the "real world" out there that I have come to better appreciate Gurdjieff's wisdom in nearly everything he said and did.
(Snip) That's why this forum is Gurdjieff focused as is describes in the rules.
I started out with the Cassiopaen experiment which got me to this site. In that body of work, you described Gurdjieff and Sufis as being closest in ideas to your work. I found your work to be stimulating, thought provoking, and worthy of further study.

So, just because the Gurdjieffian teachers you have met remind you of sociopaths, doesn't mean anything about Gurdjieff... in fact, it suggests that what he was doing was far more important that one might initially think.
On the other hand, the fact that there are so many almost fanatical supporters of Shah points in the other direction.
Technically, we can find rabid supporters in both camps. I believe, by definition, rabid supporters preclude any sort of conscious activity. As both of these men are dead, by the fourth way definition, their 'schools' are closed, and, as such, are artifacts. It doesn't mean that their body of work was bad, it just means the school has moved on.

We work every day with Gurdjieff's ideas about conscience and I have never found any that better fit the reality of this world:
Gurdjieff on conscience said:
" 'Conscience' is again a term that needs explanation. (snip)
"The concept 'conscience' has nothing in common with the concept 'morality.' (snip)
"I collected six thousand pounds of dung and, painting and scenting it with unguents that just happened to be nearby, I summoned my admittedly seasoned arts of persuasion* and wiseacring and announced to all passersby the sale of MAGICAL BEAUTY POULTICES which when applied daily to the face entirely suspended the aging process, enhanced one's sensuality, and contributed toward the formation of a permanent "I." Having not the slightest compunction at so cleverly turning a profit from the mental laziness of my fellow human beings, who nevertheless sensed unconsciously the importance of my mission for mankind, I expanded my own "I" by making ten million in three hours, thereby enabling us to continue our search for truth (and our escape from those we'd bilked via the sacred movement exit, stage left) with a tidy sum left over.
Laura said:
The story itself I find very entertaining and instructive. It is a story of true and transcendent conscience, not morality.
Perhaps. He says nothing about the people he left behind. If this is a true story, and science is true, what about those poor people who put dung on their faces? Obviously there must have been reactions, infections and the like. I can't find any sufi stories (in the body of literature in English translation, obviously) that describe anything like this. I can find plenty of stories about taking care of the people. I can find plenty of stories about learning to think ahead, to determine the consequences of one's actions. I see in this story an immediate benefit to Gurdjieff, sure, he had his people to take care of. So perhaps these poor village idiots were sociopaths who needed this experience? I guess it's OK to treat them like that? Doesn't that rather seem like STS? It does to me. But obviously, I'm not an expert.

Gurdjieff was an amazing human being and if someone cannot see his devotion to humanity by his deeds and the way he lived his life, the enormous suffering he endured for the sake of others, then there's really nothing that can be said to change that.
Gurdjeiff was certainly an amazing human being, developed far in advance of the average human. My point is not that he did not suffer, care, or teach. My point was that he had his faults too. He was a man; by definition, not perfect.

I think you have a very distorted idea of what it is to be human
Quite likely. There are so few good ones around to learn from. But I do try.

I also see that you have no clue about conscience and that you are more interested in words that mean little.
Nothing personal, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here. Not about the conscience thing, that's a huge subject, and one that will take me the rest of my life to learn. But words that mean little, no. If that were true, I would not be here.

Do you have a body of work behind you? Do you work with people? If not, you don't even have grist for the mill.
If you mean do I have published work behind me, no. I work with people, yes. Gurdjieff was my first teacher's teacher. I learned quite a bit from this man over the course of 10 years. I have been studying with a Naqshbandi teacher for the last 10 years. I also channelled with a Ouija, but my source is Polarian, not Cass. All these things made me quite interested in the body of your work as there was a bit of resonance. I am interested in the truth of things, it has been my lifelong study. The things I speak of, I speak from experience.

My suggestion would be that you join this forum here _http://members4.boardhost.com/ibrahim_gam/msg/1177791813.html where you will certainly feel more at home.
Not likely. However, if I am not welcome here, it IS your ball park...
 

ark

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
#20
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

alwyn said:
Gurdjeiff was certainly an amazing human being, developed far in advance of the average human. My point is not that he did not suffer, care, or teach. My point was that he had his faults too. He was a man; by definition, not perfect.
And why do you think this is so important? Was Gurdjieff less perfect than YOU, for instance? If you think so, then please, write your detailed autobiography not skipping any of the events that other people (not you) may be prone to criticize. After doing this, please, list all GOOD things that you did in your life and that have permanent value for humanity. Perhaps we are not aware of all the great things that you did? Then tell us. Should not be too difficult.....
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
#21
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

From Idries Shah's book, A Perfumed Scorpion: A Way to the Way. The book has many fine stories like this...

"Mulla Nasruddin is about to engage in litigation. He says to his lawyer: 'If I sent the judge 100 gold pieces, what effect would that have on the ruling of my case?'

The lawyer is horrified. 'You do that,' he says, 'and he'll find against you for sure - you might even be arrested for attempted bribery!'

- 'Are you sure?'

'Quite sure, I know that judge!'

The case was heard, and the Mulla won.

'Well,' said the lawyer, 'you did get justice after all, you can't deny that...

'Mind you, said Nasruddin, 'the gold pieces also helped...'

'You mean you actually sent the judge money?' howled the lawyer.

'Oh yes,' said Mulla Nasruddin - 'but of course, I sent the gold in the other man's name!"
Nasruddin uses deception to win the case. Why? If he had faith in his own rightness, he would have had faith in justice. A man who is afraid of justice is a man who knows, at some unconscious level, that he is the party in the wrong. Only a guilty man needs to bribe the judge.

So rather than place himself in the hands of justice, Nasruddin uses deception. In so doing, he arrogantly usurps the rightful moral authority of the court. He also frames a man whom we now know to be innocent.

To top it all off, he speaks about it to his own lawyer in a manner that suggests that he is unconscious of how corrupt he is. It seems that he will walk away from this never really realizing that he has committed three crimes: the original crime for which he was litigating, the crime of usurping justice, and the crime of framing an innocent man. Yet he seems more proud of himself for his cleverness than humiliated by his own crooked behavior.
_http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/005032.php
 

Russ

Jedi Master
#22
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

Hmm I'm thinking, what if Gurdjieff didn't actually know if anyone was souled, or even if it was a potential? What if its just better to assume that you don't have a soul, rather than you do have one? Maybe its only for people that think they have one, and it becomes a problematic assumption, with regards to what they hope to acheive. If you are already acting *as if* you don't have a soul, then why would there be a need to be concerned about having one or not?

Isn't that what its all about anyway, doing your best to be what you choose to be. If you're not doing your best then maybe you need some kind of kick start, like fear. In some ways though I don't like the manipulative nature of it. Wouldn't it have been better to have just said, "if you want a chance of breaking through into the next life its a good idea to actually be something solid first, otherwise what is left after the initial impact, but a scattering of personality". To me that makes more sense and isn't manipulative, also seems to acheive the same effect. Maybe I'm completely wrong about Gurdjieff here though.
 

alwyn

Padawan Learner
#23
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

ark said:
And why do you think this is so important?
Well, I think there is a huge tendency to both lionize the man, and to neglect the man at the same time. Much of what he did was credible and worthy. Some of it was pretty havey-cavey, and some of it really messed people up. Wouldn't it be better (and more truthful) to take what was good and useful, but also to know that there are some distortions, and to be on the watch for them? This is the work of the soul, for cryin' out loud. Ya don't want to mess up here.

Was Gurdjieff less perfect than YOU, for instance?
That's funny. If I was more perfect than Gurdjieff I wouldn't be having all the trouble with sociopaths that I'm having now, would I? I'd certainly be alot richer.


If you think so, then please, write your detailed autobiography not skipping any of the events that other people (not you) may be prone to criticize. After doing this, please, list all GOOD things that you did in your life and that have permanent value for humanity. Perhaps we are not aware of all the great things that you did? Then tell us. Should not be too difficult.....
Look, I'm nobody special. I don't hide behind a false name or an avatar. I didn't have enough money for a university education, I have no fancy publications or websites. I am a wife and a mother, probably my son and husband would miss me if I was gone. (Speaking of GOOD things, my son is one.) I have my share of perfect boners in my life just like anyone else. The people I have helped are just small people with small problems. Most of them are not 'big' enough to generate notice on the web. I'm a political gadfly, I've been trained to speak truth to power, I'm doing everything that I know how to change the political status quo on a small level. I'm an organic farmer, an herbal healer, just another working schmo on the Path, one I've been on for 33 years. But I know what I know, and I've studied with whom I've studied.
 

alwyn

Padawan Learner
#24
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

Laura said:
From Idries Shah's book, A Perfumed Scorpion: A Way to the Way. The book has many fine stories like this...

"Mulla Nasruddin is about to engage in litigation. He says to his lawyer: 'If I sent the judge 100 gold pieces, what effect would that have on the ruling of my case?'
<snip>
'Oh yes,' said Mulla Nasruddin - 'but of course, I sent the gold in the other man's name!"
Nasruddin uses deception to win the case. Why? If he had faith in his own rightness, he would have had faith in justice. A man who is afraid of justice is a man who knows, at some unconscious level, that he is the party in the wrong. Only a guilty man needs to bribe the judge.
Hmmm, is it a ponerized court like we have in the US? Seems like innocent people have a lot to fear from one of those.

The corpus of the Mullah Nasr'din stories were explained to me to be teaching stories about different kinds of people. The mullah takes various escapades, designed to illustrate certain actions, or to illuminate types of behaviour. Sometimes they were told by Teachers in chaikanas, or tea-houses to see what people would react to, thereby setting the course of the teaching. Sometimes they are folk tales designed to arm people with a sort of psychological armour. Sometimes they are just jokes told over a fire, between people gathered through the night. A lot depends upon time, place, circumstance and people.

When I said I didn't know of any stories about hurting people, I was actually thinking of the stories of the lives of various sufi teachers, classical ones like Ibn' Arabi, Junaid, Bestami, Saadi, Hafiz, etc. Perhaps I am mistaken in thinking that "Meetings with Remarkable Men" is an account of a journey? Perhaps it is allegory, and nothing to be 'het-up' over.

Anyway, the sufies I have studied with say we have a chance to create a soul, to have a 'deep and abiding permanent consciousness that transcends death.' And that's the crux of the cookie, ain't it? Back to work. Or sleep. It's late.

Oh yeah, Idries Shah was not my teacher. But he's got some pretty good books.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
#25
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

Russ said:
Hmm I'm thinking, what if Gurdjieff didn't actually know if anyone was souled, or even if it was a potential? What if its just better to assume that you don't have a soul, rather than you do have one? Maybe its only for people that think they have one, and it becomes a problematic assumption, with regards to what they hope to acheive. If you are already acting *as if* you don't have a soul, then why would there be a need to be concerned about having one or not?

Isn't that what its all about anyway, doing your best to be what you choose to be. If you're not doing your best then maybe you need some kind of kick start, like fear. In some ways though I don't like the manipulative nature of it. Wouldn't it have been better to have just said, "if you want a chance of breaking through into the next life its a good idea to actually be something solid first, otherwise what is left after the initial impact, but a scattering of personality". To me that makes more sense and isn't manipulative, also seems to acheive the same effect. Maybe I'm completely wrong about Gurdjieff here though.
First of all, if what you suggest is true, I don't see Gurdjieff's solution as "manipulative." Remember, that manipulation is covert means used to obtain something for the SELF. Gurdjieff was not doing something to get something for himself. So I think it is better, when you understand human psychology as he did, to refer to such methods as "human engineering."

Second, try to really imagine your proposed way of going about it and possible outcomes. And here I mean that you should really, truly, have a good grasp of human psychology and that can only come from studying it and dealing with it directly. I can assure you that your method is doomed to total failure.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
#26
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

Alwyn said:
That's funny. If I was more perfect than Gurdjieff I wouldn't be having all the trouble with sociopaths that I'm having now, would I? I'd certainly be alot richer. [...]

I'm doing everything that I know how to change the political status quo on a small level. I'm an organic farmer, an herbal healer, just another working schmo on the Path, one I've been on for 33 years. But I know what I know, and I've studied with whom I've studied.
Jeanne de Salzmann said:
You will see that in life you receive exactly what you give. Your life is the mirror of what you are. It is in your image. [...]

You have no measure with which to measure yourselves. You live exclusively according to “I like� or “I don’t like,� you have no appreciation except for yourself. You recognize nothing above you—theoretically, logically, perhaps, but actually no. [...]

The first requirement, the first condition, the first test for one who wishes to work on himself is to change his appreciation of himself. He must not imagine, not simply believe or think, but see things in himself which he has never seen before, see them actually. [...]

You must understand that all the other measures—talent, education, culture, genius—are changing measures, measures of detail. The only exact measure, the only unchanging, objective real measure is the measure of inner vision. I see—I see myself—by this, you have measured. With one higher real part, you have measured another lower part, also real. And this measure, defining by itself the role of each part, will lead you to respect for yourself. [...]

But you will see that it is not easy. And it is not cheap. You must pay dearly. For bad payers, lazy people, parasites, no hope. You must pay, pay a lot, and pay immediately, pay in advance. Pay with yourself. By sincere, conscientious, disinterested efforts. [...]

Try for a moment to accept the idea that you are not what you believe yourself to be, that you overestimate yourself, in fact that you lie to yourself. That you always lie to yourself every moment, all day, all your life. That this lying rules you to such an extent that you cannot control it any more. You are the prey of lying. You lie, everywhere. Your relations with others—lies. The upbringing you give, the conventions—lies. Your teaching—lies. Your theories, your art—lies. Your social life, your family life—lies. And what you think of yourself—lies also. [...]

But you never stop yourself in what you are doing or in what you are saying because you believe in yourself.
The bottom line is this: You will see that in life you receive exactly what you give. Your life is the mirror of what you are. It is in your image.

Alwyn said:
I think there is a huge tendency to both lionize the man, and to neglect the man at the same time.
And there is a tendency among those who do very little, who continue to live in lies, to lionize themselves and their perspectives while neglecting that part of themselves that could be truly great.

Alwyn said:
Much of what he did was credible and worthy.
What he did was actually amazing. It is part of the tendency of those who continue to live in lies while lionizing themselves (or objects of narcissistic supply) to seek to diminish those who did follow that part of themselves that was great.

Do not misunderstand, we know that Gurdjieff was a man and he was not perfect. But he was such a man that there have been few like him before, then or since - almost none, in fact.

Alwyn said:
Some of it was pretty havey-cavey,
That is your perception or rather your "moralistic judgment." You do not understand what is required of an individual who seeks to follow that part of themselves that is great because you, yourself, have not made that choice. You mention that you have a son... an only child? You might have a bit more understanding of many things if you had numerous children, all of whom you love equally, and you needed to find ways to help them each grow and develop all the while taking into consideration their interactions with each other which are ruled by their ages, their intellect, their individual natures. A parent of many children who truly loves those children and doesn't have some narcissistic self-image of artifical moral perfection, quickly learns the "havey cavey" ways of assisting those children to develop and love one another without one harming or interfering with the other.

Lobaczewski said:
It is a universal law of nature that the higher a given species’ psychological organization, the greater the psychological differences among individual units. Man is the most highly organized species; hence, these variations are the greatest. Both qualitatively and quantitatively, psychological differences occur in all structures of the pattern of human personality. Profound psychological variegations may strike some as an injustice of nature, but they are her right and have meaning. [...]

The fate of human societies depends upon the proper adjustment of individuals within this structure and upon the manner in which innate variations of talents are utilized. [...]

[P]sychological differences among people are the cause of misunderstandings and problems. We can overcome these problems only if we accept psychological differences as a law of nature and appreciate their creative value. This would also enable us to gain an objective comprehension of man and human societies; [it] also teaches us that equality under the law is inequality under the law of nature. [...]

The distribution of human intellectual capacity within societies has the greatest scope. Highly gifted people constitute a tiny percentage of each population, and those with the highest quotient of intelligence constitute only a few per thousand. In spite of this, however, the latter play such a significant role in collective life that any society attempting to prevent them from fulfilling their duty does so at its own peril. At the same time, individuals barely able to master simple arithmetic and the art of writing are, in the majority, normal people whose basic intelligence is often entirely adequate.
These are things that Gurdjieff understood as few others ever have.

Certainly, psychopaths understand these things but in a very different way. They see themselves as the "6%" that should rule by enslaving others and their rule is achieved by terror and destruction.

There is another 6% (probably) and those are individuals capable of forming an evolutionary nucleus for the benefit of all humanity. Gurdjieff understood this clearly.

You see, you don't seem to have a real grasp of the Terror of the Situation. If you did, then you would completely understand why Gurdjieff did what he did on each and every occasion. Gurdjieff learned something about cosmic cycles in his encounter with the ancient tradition - something that Shah and many others have no clue about which belies their claims to ancient, esoteric knowledge. The Cs refer to this as "The Wave." There is a crossroads facing humanity, and the development of a conscious nucleus within the body of humanity will determine the fate of ALL of humanity for the entirety of the next cosmic cycle. It may also determine whether humanity survives at ALL in this corner of the galaxy.

Gurdjieff used the metaphor of "The Moon" (which is the metaphor of the ancient esoteric tradition) to explain the problem:

Gurdjieff said:
"In what relation does the intelligence of the earth stand to the intelligence of the sun?" I asked.

"The intelligence of the sun is divine," said G. "But the earth can become the same; only, of course, it is not guaranteed and the earth may die having attained nothing."

"Upon what does this depend?" I asked.

G.'s answer was very vague.

"There is a definite period," he said, "for a certain thing to be done. If, by a certain time, what ought to be done has not been done, the earth may perish without having attained what it could have attained."

"Is this period known?" I asked.

"It is known," said G. "But it would be no advantage whatever for people to know it. It would even be worse. Some would believe it, others would not believe it, yet others would demand proofs. Afterwards they would begin to break one another's heads. Everything ends this way with people." [...]

"We must remember that the ray of creation, as we have taken it, from the Absolute to the moon, is like a branch of a tree—a growing branch. The end of this branch, the end out of which come new shoots, is the moon. If the moon does not grow, if it neither gives nor promises to give new shoots, it means that either the growth of the whole ray of creation will stop or that it must find another path for its growth, give out some kind of lateral branch.

"At the same time from what has been said before we see that the growth of the moon depends on organic life on earth. It follows that the growth of the ray of creation depends on organic life on earth. If this organic life disappears or dies the whole branch will immediately wither, in any case all that part of the branch which lies beyond organic life.

"The same thing must happen, only more slowly, if organic life is arrested in its development, in its evolution, and fails to respond to the demands made upon it. The branch may wither. This must be remembered.

"To the ray of creation, or let us say to its part earth-moon, exactly the same possibility of development and growth has been given as is given to each separate branch of a big tree.

"But the accomplishment of this growth is not at all guaranteed, it depends upon the harmonious and right action of its own tissues. The development of one tissue stops and all the others stop.

"Everything that can be said of the ray of creation or of its part earth-moon equally refers to organic life on earth. Organic life on earth is a complex phenomenon in which the separate parts depend upon one another. General growth is possible only on the condition that the 'end of the branch' grows. Or, speaking more precisely, there are in organic life tissues which are evolving, and there are tissues which serve as food and medium for those which are evolving. Then there are evolving cells within the evolving tissues, and cells which serve as food and medium for those which are evolving. In each separate evolving cell there are evolving parts and there are parts which serve as food for those which are evolving.

"But always and in everything it must be remembered that evolution is never guaranteed, it is possible only and it can stop at any moment and in any place.

"The evolving part of organic life is humanity. ...

"If humanity does not evolve it means that the evolution of organic life will stop and this in its turn will cause the growth of the ray of creation to stop. At the same time if humanity ceases to evolve it becomes useless from the point of view of the aims for which it was created and as such it may be destroyed. In this way the cessation of evolution may mean the destruction of humanity.[...]

"At the same time in examining the life of humanity as we know it historically we are bound to acknowledge that humanity is moving in a circle. In one century it destroys everything it creates in another and the progress in mechanical things of the past hundred years has proceeded at the cost of losing many other things which perhaps were much more important for it.

"Speaking in general there is every reason to think and to assert that humanity is at a standstill and from a standstill there is a straight path to downfall and degeneration.

"A standstill means that a process has become balanced. The appearance of any one quality immediately evokes the appearance of another quality opposed to it. The growth of knowledge in one domain evokes the growth of ignorance in another; refinement on the one hand evokes vulgarity on the other; freedom in one connection evokes slavery in another; the disappearance of some superstitions evokes the appearance and the growth of others; and so on.

"Now if we recall the law of octaves we shall see that a balanced process proceeding in a certain way cannot be changed at any moment it is desired. It can be changed and set on a new path only at certain 'cross-roads.'

"In between the 'crossroads' nothing can be done.

"At the same time if a process passes by a 'crossroad' and nothing happens, nothing is done, then nothing can be done afterwards and the process will continue and develop according to mechanical laws; and even if people taking part in this process foresee the inevitable destruction of everything, they will be unable to do anything.

"I repeat that something can be done only at certain moments which I have just called 'crossroads' and which in octaves we have called the 'intervals' mi-fa and si¬do.

"Of course there are very many people who consider that the life of humanity is not proceeding in the way in which according to their views it ought to go. And they invent various theories which in their opinion ought to change the whole life of humanity. One invents one theory. Another immediately invents a contradictory theory. And both expect everyone to believe them. And many people indeed do believe either one or the other. Life naturally takes its own course but people do not stop believing in their own or other people's theories and they believe that it is possible to do something. All these theories are certainly quite fantastic, chiefly because they do not take into account the most important thing, namely, the subordinate part which humanity and organic life play in the world process.

"Intellectual theories put man in the center of everything; everything exists for him, the sun, the stars, the moon, the earth. They even forget man's relative size, his nothingness, his transient existence, and other tilings. They assert that a man if he wishes is able to change his whole life, that is, to organize his life on rational principles.

"And all the time new theories appear evoking in their turn opposing theories; and all these theories and the struggle between them undoubtedly constitute one of the forces which keep humanity in the state in which it is at present.

"Besides, all these theories for general welfare and general equality are not only unrealizable, but they would be fatal if they were realized.

"Everything in nature has its aim and its purpose, both the inequality of man and his suffering. To destroy inequality would mean destroying the possibility of evolution.

"To destroy suffering would mean, first, destroying a whole series of perceptions for which man exists, and second, the destruction of the 'shock,' that is to say, the force which alone can change the situation. And thus it is with all intellectual theories.

"The process of evolution, of that evolution which is possible for humanity as a whole, is completely analogous, to the process of evolution possible for the individual man. And it begins with the same thing, namely, a certain group of cells gradually becomes conscious; then it attracts to itself other cells, subordinates others, and gradually makes the whole organism serve its aims and not merely eat, drink, and sleep. This is evolution and there can be no other kind of evolution.

"In humanity as in individual man everything begins with the formation of a conscious nucleus. All the mechanical forces of life fight against the formation of this conscious nucleus in humanity, in just the same way as all mechanical habits, tastes and weaknesses fight against conscious self-remembering in man."

"Can it be said that there is a conscious force which fights against the evolution of humanity?" I asked.

"From a certain point of view it can be said," said G.

I am putting this on record because it would seem to contradict what he said before, namely, that there are only two forces struggling in the world—"consciousness" and "mechanicalness."

"Where can this force come from?" I asked.

"It would take a long time to explain," said G., "and it cannot have a practical significance for us at the present moment.

"There are two processes which are sometimes called 'involutionary' and 'evolutionary.' The difference between them is the following:

An involutionary process begins consciously in the Absolute but at the next step it already becomes mechanical—and it becomes more and more mechanical as it develops;

an evolutionary process begins half-consciously but it becomes more and more conscious as its develops.

But consciousness and conscious opposition to the evolutionary process can also appear at certain moments in the, involutionary process.

From where does this consciousness come? From the evolutionary process of course.

The evolutionary process must proceed without interruption. Any stop causes a separation from the fundamental process.

Such separate fragments of consciousnesses which have been stopped in their development can also unite and at any rate for a certain time can live by struggling against the evolutionary process. After all it merely makes the evolutionary process more interesting.

Instead of struggling against mechanical forces there may, at certain moments, be a struggle against the intentional opposition of fairly powerful forces though they are not of course comparable with those which direct the evolutionary process. These opposing forces may sometimes even conquer.

The reason for this consists in the fact that the forces guiding evolution have a more limited choice of means; in other words, they can only make use of certain means and certain methods. The opposing forces are not limited in their choice of means and they are able to make use of every means, even those which only give rise to a temporary success, and in the final result they destroy both evolution and involution at the point in question.

"But as I have said already, this question has no practical significance for us. It is only important for us to establish the indications of evolution beginning and the indications of evolution proceeding. And if we remember the full analogy between humanity and man it will not be difficult to establish whether humanity can be regarded as evolving.

"Are we able to say for instance that life is governed by a group of conscious people? Where are they? Who are they? We see exactly the opposite: that life is governed by those who are the least conscious, by those who are most asleep.

"Are we able to say that we observe in life a preponderance of the best, the strongest, and the most courageous elements? Nothing of the sort. On the contrary we see a preponderance of vulgarity and stupidity of all kinds.
"Are we able to say that aspirations towards unity, towards unification, can be observed in life? Nothing of the kind of course. We only see new divisions, new hostility, new misunderstandings.

"So that in the actual situation of humanity there is nothing that points to evolution proceeding. On the contrary when we compare humanity with a man we quite clearly see a growth of personality at the cost of essence, that is, a growth of the artificial, the unreal, and what is foreign, at the cost of the natural, the real, and what is one's own.
"Together with this we see a growth of automatism.

"Contemporary culture requires automatons. And people are undoubtedly losing their acquired habits of independence and turning into automatons, into parts of machines. It is impossible to say where is the end of all this and where the way out— or whether there is an end and a way out. One thing alone is certain, that man's slavery grows and increases. Man is becoming a willing slave. He no longer needs chains. He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of it. And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man.

"Everything I have said till now I have said about the whole of humanity. But as I pointed out before, the evolution of humanity can proceed only through the evolution of a certain group, which, in its turn, will influence and lead the rest of humanity.

"Are we able to say that such a group exists? Perhaps we can on the basis of certain signs, but in any event we have to acknowledge that it is a very small group, quite insufficient, at any rate, to subjugate the rest of humanity. Or, looking at it from another point of view, we can say that humanity is in such a state that it is unable to accept the guidance of a conscious group."

"How many people could there be in this conscious group?" someone asked.

"Only they themselves know this," said G.

"Does it mean that they all know each other?" asked the same person again.

"How could it be otherwise?" asked G. "Imagine that there are two or three people who are awake in the midst of a multitude of sleeping people. They will certainly know each other. But those who are asleep cannot know them.

"How many are they? We do not know and we cannot know until we become like them.

"It has been clearly said before that each man can only see on the level of his own being.

"But two hundred conscious people, if they existed and if they found it necessary and legitimate, could change the whole of life on the earth. But either there are not enough of them, or they do not want to, or perhaps the time has not yet come, or perhaps other people are sleeping too soundly.
Please read the above over a few times and try to do so without the input of all kinds of emotional programs and narcissistic self-referencing. We are talking about the fate of humanity here, as a whole, and there is little place for personal considerations.

alwyn said:
and some of it really messed people up.
There are a few people who claim - quite loudly and repeatedly, in fact, that their encounters with me and QFS have "messed them up." It's an interesting phenomenon which Gurdjieff also knew well. We, of course, understand it better now thanks to the trail that Gurdjieff blazed, with the added input of the Cs, our own experiences with groups, and the work of Lobaczewski. As mentioned above by Lobaczewski, "the higher a given species’ psychological organization, the greater the psychological differences among individual units," and there is a certain percentage of them that are pathological, i.e., comparable to disease pathogens in a human body. Having the yardsticks of modern psychology, and a number of professionals in those and other scientific fields within QFS, we are able to understand these types and describe them with more exact terminology than Gurdjieff did. But his observations and perceptions about such types are still invaluable. The work of Lobaczewski also gives us criteria for understanding those individuals who cannot discriminate between rational, fact-based thinking and pathological delusions and who choose to believe the claims of such "messed up" people without data or experience.

alwyn said:
Wouldn't it be better (and more truthful) to take what was good and useful, but also to know that there are some distortions, and to be on the watch for them? This is the work of the soul, for cryin' out loud. Ya don't want to mess up here.
We definitely take the approach of using what is good and useful. But until you begin to operate in life on the same level that Gurdjieff operated on, it is best if you take care in evaluating. Never forget this:

"It has been clearly said before that each man can only see on the level of his own being."

and

"You will see that in life you receive exactly what you give. Your life is the mirror of what you are. It is in your image."
 

Russ

Jedi Master
#27
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

Laura said:
First of all, if what you suggest is true, I don't see Gurdjieff's solution as "manipulative." Remember, that manipulation is covert means used to obtain something for the SELF. Gurdjieff was not doing something to get something for himself. So I think it is better, when you understand human psychology as he did, to refer to such methods as "human engineering."
I can see what you mean, I guess I'm just not used to people being covert without having at least a part selfish reason for doing so. What I don't understand is, why, if what I suggested is true, Gurdjieff didn't say it "how it was" instead of being covert. Its not that I don't have ideas, such as - maybe "as it is" wouldn't be compatible with how they see the world, as in informing them of the information "as it is" would be a "round hold square peg" situation. Its just that those are only theories, so I can't say I understand. I would be interested to hear why you think he would go about it that way though.

Laura said:
Second, try to really imagine your proposed way of going about it and possible outcomes. And here I mean that you should really, truly, have a good grasp of human psychology and that can only come from studying it and dealing with it directly. I can assure you that your method is doomed to total failure.
Ah well, maybe its just me. I prefer to be able to see things happening, like your last post to Alwyn - I can see what Gurdjeiff is saying there, and can see the analogy of the human race and the human mind. To me its down to earth and makes sense, and is just "straight up". I suppose I can see how this wouldn't be the smoothest way to introduce someone to this kind of information though, and might turn them away.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
#28
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

Russ said:
I can see what you mean, I guess I'm just not used to people being covert without having at least a part selfish reason for doing so.
Are you a parent?

Russ said:
What I don't understand is, why, if what I suggested is true, Gurdjieff didn't say it "how it was" instead of being covert. Its not that I don't have ideas, such as - maybe "as it is" wouldn't be compatible with how they see the world, as in informing them of the information "as it is" would be a "round hold square peg" situation. Its just that those are only theories, so I can't say I understand. I would be interested to hear why you think he would go about it that way though.
External considering. But this requires a bit of background; bear with me here.

Gurdjieff said:
"When a man comes to realize the necessity not only for self-study and self¬observation but also for work on himself with the object of changing himself, the character of his self-observation must change. He has so far studied the details of the work of the centers, trying only to register this or that phenomenon, to be an impartial witness. He has studied the work of the machine. Now he must begin to see himself, that is to say, to see, not separate details, not the work of small wheels and levers, but to see everything taken together as a whole—the whole of himself such as others see him.

"For this purpose a man must learn to take, so to speak, 'mental photographs' of himself at different moments of his life and in different emotional states: and not photographs of details, but photographs of the whole as he saw it. [...]

"Instead of the man he had supposed himself to be he will see quite another man. This 'other' man is himself and at the same time not himself. It is he as other people know him, as he imagines himself and as he appears in his actions, words, and so on; but not altogether such as he actually is. For a man himself knows that there is a great deal that is unreal, invented, and artificial in this other man whom other people know and whom he knows himself.

"You must learn to divide the real from the invented. And to begin self-observation and self-study it is necessary to divide oneself. A man must realize that he indeed consists of two men.

"One is the man he calls 'I' and whom others call 'Ouspensky,' 'Zakharov' or 'Petrov.' The other is the real he, the real I, which appears in his life only for very short moments and which can become firm and permanent only after a very lengthy period of work.

"So long as a man takes himself as one person he will never move from where he is. His work on himself starts from the moment when he begins to feel two men in himself. One is passive and the most it can do is to register or observe what is happening to it. The other, which calls itself 'I,' is active, and speaks of itself in the first person, is in reality only 'Ouspensky,' 'Petrov' or 'Zakharov.'

"This is the first realization that a man can have.

"Having begun to think correctly he very soon sees that he is completely in the power of his 'Ouspensky,' 'Petrov,' or 'Zakharov.' No matter what he plans or what he intends to do or say, it is not 'he,' not 'I,' that will carry it out, do or say it, but his 'Ouspensky' 'Petrov,' or 'Zakharov,' and of course they will do or say it, not in the way 'I' would have done or said it, but in their own way with their own shade of meaning, and often this shade of meaning completely changes what 'I' wanted to do.

"From this point of view there is a very definite danger arising from the very first moment of self-observation. It is 'I' who begins self-observation, but it is immediately taken up and continued by 'Ouspensky,' 'Zakharov,' or 'Petrov.' But 'Ouspensky' 'Zakharov,' or 'Petrov' from the very first steps introduces a slight alteration into this self-observation, an alteration which seems to be quite unimportant but which in reality fundamentally alters the whole thing. [...]

"Self-observation becomes observation of 'Ouspensky' A man understands that he is not 'Ouspensky,' that 'Ouspensky' is nothing but the mask he wears, the part that he unconsciously plays and which unfortunately he cannot stop playing, a part which rules him and makes him do and say thousands of stupid things, thousands of things which he would never do or say himself.

"If he is sincere with himself he feels that he is in the power of 'Ouspensky' and at the same time he feels that he is not 'Ouspensky.'

"He begins to be afraid of 'Ouspensky,' begins to feel that he is his 'enemy.' No matter what he would like to do, everything is intercepted and altered by 'Ouspensky.' 'Ouspensky' is his 'enemy.' 'Ouspensky's' desires, tastes, sympathies, antipathies, thoughts, opinions, are either opposed to his own views, feelings, and moods, or they have nothing in common with them. And, at the same time, 'Ouspensky' is his master. He is the slave. He has no will of his own. He has no means of expressing his desires because whatever he would like to do or say would be done for him by 'Ouspensky.'

"On this level of self-observation a man must understand that his whole aim is to free himself from 'Ouspensky.' And since he cannot in fact free himself from 'Ouspensky,' because he is himself, he must therefore master 'Ouspensky' and make him do, not what the 'Ouspensky' of the given moment wants, but what he himself wants to do. From being the master, 'Ouspensky' must become the servant.

"The first stage of work on oneself consists in separating oneself from 'Ouspensky' mentally, in being separated from him in actual fact, in keeping apart from him. But the fact must be borne in mind that the whole attention must be concentrated upon 'Ouspensky' for a man is unable to explain what he himself really is. But he can explain 'Ouspensky' to himself and with this he must begin, remembering at the same time that he is not 'Ouspensky,'

"The most dangerous thing in this case is to rely on one's own judgment. If a man is lucky he may at this time have someone near him who can tell him where he is and where 'Ouspensky' is. But he must moreover trust this person, because he will undoubtedly think that he understands everything himself and that he knows where he is and where 'Ouspensky' is. And not only in relation to himself but in relation also to other people will he think that he knows and sees their 'Ouspenskys.' All this is of course self-deception. At this stage a man can see nothing either in relation to himself or to others. The more convinced he is that he can, the more he is mistaken.

"But if he can be even to a slight extent sincere with himself and really wants to know the truth, then he can find an exact and infallible basis for judging rightly first about himself and then about other people.

"But the whole point lies in being sincere with oneself. And this is by no means easy. People do not understand that sincerity must be learned. They imagine that to be sincere or not to be sincere depends upon their desire or decision. But how can a man be sincere with himself when in actual fact he sincerely does not see what he ought to see in himself? Someone has to show it to him. And his attitude towards the person who shows him must be a right one, that is, such as will help him to see what is shown him and not, as often happens, hinder him if he begins to think that he already knows better.

"This is a very serious moment in the work. A man who loses his direction at this moment will never find it again afterwards.
This is, in fact, the moment at which most people "fall."

As we now know, the main problem that modern man must face in himself is narcissism. Narcissism is the essence of the false personality that must be struggled against. The problem is distinguishing someone who just has narcissistic traits due to social and familial influences, or someone who is a pathological narcissist. It is at this moment in the work that the wheat are separated from the chaff.

You see, true narcissists are incapable of collaborative efforts of any kind. They see everyone as either supporters of their narcissism or non-supporters. They idealize supporters of their world view and devalue those who do not support their illusion. Narcissists regard group work with disdain and contempt because, of course, they are so special. The need for team work, to adhere to group rules, to submit to the norms of the group and/or the teacher or a moderator, to honor and respect other group members as EQUALS no matter their age, station in life, education, etc, is perceived by the narcissist to be humiliating and degrading.

So, when the time comes to confront an individual in group work, if that individual is a pathological narcissist, the result is rage, attacks, and even an exacerbation of the narcissist's delusions of persecution.

The internal dialog of the individual, at this point, goes something like this: "Just who do they think they are?! What is his/her credentials, after all?!! I am a success in everything that matters to me, and he/she is just a no-nothing! I know what I know, these people are nothing, they are nothing like me, they know nothing about me, they just aren't at my level; they should accept my authority on what I know I know... He/she is trying to put me down, to make him/herself feel better at my expense... " and so on.

A person who really, truly, is sincere with him or herself will know, when it is pointed out to them, that they have, indeed, forgotten their true self. And they will struggle against the false personality and it's rant as described above.

A narcissist will go with the rant because the narcissism - whether genetic or learned - is stronger than the real *I*. The more pathological types will then go out and launch attacks because they are in a state of what is called Narcissistic Rage.

Pathological Narcissitic Rage has special characteristics because the narcissistic hurt is different from other types of emotional pain. The fact that this hurt is very vulnerable, and opens up to an emptiness signifying the dissolution of identity, imbues the reactive anger with an intensity and hardness rarely seen in other kinds of anger. (The Point of Existence, pg 324). The (narcissitic) rage may turn into, or be accompanied by, a cold hatred that gives ... qualities of power, invincibility, and calculation. This hatred underlies the desire for vengeance, for wanting to inflict pain and suffering, and for actually enjoying getting back at the person who [failed to support the narcissistic illusion]. (The Point of Existence, pg 327)

It is types such as these that attack people like Gurdjieff and also we have had much experience with them leaving QFG after usually the most minor of incidents of having their own feeding and manipulating behavior pointed out to them.

Now, back to the subject at hand:

Gurdjieff said:
"It must be remembered that man such as he is does not possess the means of distinguishing 'I' and 'Ouspensky' in himself. Even if he tries to, he will lie to himself and invent things, and he will never see himself as he really is. It must be understood that without outside help a man can never see himself. [...]

"This in its turn is connected with one of the fundamental characteristics of man's attitude towards himself and to all his surroundings. Namely, his constant 'identification' with what at a given moment has attracted his attention, his thoughts or his desires, and his imagination.

" 'Identification' is so common a quality that for purposes of observation it is difficult to separate it from everything else. Man is always in a state of identification, only the object of identification changes.

"A man identifies with a small problem which confronts him and he completely forgets the great aims with which he began his work. He identifies with one thought and forgets other thoughts; he is identified with one feeling, with one mood, and forgets his own wider thoughts, emotions, and moods. In work on themselves people are so much identified with separate aims that they fail to see the wood for the trees. Two or three trees nearest to them represent for them the whole wood.

"'Identifying' is one of our most terrible foes because it penetrates everywhere and deceives a man at the moment when it seems to him that he is struggling with it.

"It is especially difficult to free oneself from identifying because a man naturally becomes more easily identified with the things that interest him most, to which he gives his time, his work, and his attention.

"In order to free himself from identifying a man must be constantly on guard and be merciless with himself, that is, he must not be afraid of seeing all the subtle and hidden forms which identifying takes.

"It is necessary to see and to study identifying to its very roots in oneself.

"The difficulty of struggling with identifying is still further increased by the fact that when people observe it in themselves they consider it a very good trait and call it 'enthusiasm,' 'zeal,' 'passion,' 'spontaneity,' 'inspiration,' and names of that kind, and they consider that only in a state of identifying can a man really produce good work, no matter in what sphere. In reality of course this is illusion.

"Man cannot do anything sensible when he is in a state of identifying. If people could see what the state of identifying means they would alter their opinion. A man becomes a thing, a piece of flesh; he loses even the small semblance of a human being that he has.

"In the East where people smoke hashish and other drugs it often happens that a man becomes so identified with his pipe that he begins to consider he is a pipe himself. This is not a joke but a fact. He actually becomes a pipe.

"This is identifying. And for this, hashish or opium are entirely unnecessary.

"Look at people in shops, in theaters, in restaurants; or see how they identify with words when they argue about something or try to prove something, particularly something they do not know themselves. They become greediness, desires, or words; of themselves nothing remains.

"Identifying is the chief obstacle to self-remembering.

"A man who identifies with anything is unable to remember himself. In order to remember oneself it is necessary first of all not to identify. But in order to learn not to identify man must first of all not be identified with himself, must not call himself 'I' always and on all occasions. He must remember that there are two in him, that there is himself that is 'I' in him, and there is another with whom he must struggle and whom he must conquer if he wishes at any time to attain anything.

"So long as a man identifies or can be identified, he is the slave of everything that can happen to him. Freedom is first of all freedom from identification.

"After general forms of identification attention must be given to a particular form of identifying, namely identifying with people, which takes the form of 'considering' them.

"There are several different kinds of 'considering.'

"On the most prevalent occasions a man is identified with what others think about him, how they treat him, what attitude they show towards him. He always thinks that people do not value him enough, are not sufficiently polite and courteous. All this torments him, makes him think and suspect and lose an immense amount of energy on guesswork, on suppositions, develops in him a distrustful and hostile attitude towards people. How somebody looked at him, what somebody thought of him, what somebody said of him—all this acquires for him an immense significance.

"And he 'considers' not only separate persons but society and historically constituted conditions. Everything that displeases such a man seems to him to be unjust, illegal, wrong, and illogical. And the point of departure for his judgment is always that these things can and should be changed. 'Injustice' is one of the words in which very often considering hides itself. When a man has convinced himself that he is indignant with some injustice, then for him to stop considering would mean 'reconciling himself to injustice.'

"There are people who are able to consider not only injustice or the failure of others to value them enough but who are able to consider for example the weather. This seems ridiculous but it is a fact. People are able to consider climate, heat, cold, snow, rain; they can be irritated by the weather, be indignant and angry with it. A man can take everything in such a personal way as though everything in the world had been specially arranged in order to give him pleasure or on the contrary to cause him inconvenience or unpleasantness.

"All this and much else besides is merely a form of identification.

"Such considering is wholly based upon 'requirements.' A man inwardly 're-quires' that everyone should see what a remarkable man he is and that they should constantly give expression to their respect, esteem, and admiration for him, for his intellect, his beauty, his cleverness, his wit, his presence of mind, his originality, and all his other qualities.

"Requirements in their turn are based on a completely fantastic notion about themselves such as very often occurs with people of very modest appearance. Various writers, actors, musicians, artists, and politicians, for instance, are almost without exception sick people.

"And what are they suffering from?

"First of all from an extraordinary' opinion of themselves, then from requirements, and then from considering, that is, being ready and prepared beforehand to take offense at lack of understanding and lack of appreciation.

"There is still another form of considering which can take a great deal of energy from a man. This form starts with a man beginning to think that he is not considering another person enough, that this other person is offended with him for not considering him sufficiently. And he begins to think himself that perhaps he does not think enough about this other, does not pay him enough attention, does not give way to him enough.

"All this is simply weakness. People are afraid of one another. But this can lead very far. I have seen many such cases. In this way a man can finally lose his balance, if at any time he had any, and begin to perform entirely senseless actions. He gets angry with himself and feels that it is stupid, and he cannot stop, whereas in such cases the whole point is precisely 'not to consider.'

"It is the same case, only perhaps worse, when a man considers that in his opinion he 'ought' to do something when as a matter of fact he ought not to do so at all.

"'Ought' and 'ought not' is also a difficult subject, that is, difficult to understand when a man really 'ought' and when he 'ought not.' This can be approached only from the point of view of 'aim.' When a man has an aim he 'ought' to do only what leads towards his aim and he 'ought not' to do anything that hinders him from going towards his aim.

"As I have already said, people very often think that if they begin to struggle with considering within themselves it will make them 'insincere' and they are afraid of this because they think that in this event they will be losing something, losing a part of themselves. In this case the same thing takes place as in attempts to struggle against the outward expression of unpleasant emotions. The sole difference is that in one case a man struggles with the outward expression of emotions and in the other case with an inner manifestation of perhaps the same emotions.

"This fear of losing sincerity is of course self-deception, one of those formulas of lying upon which human weaknesses are based. Man cannot help identifying and considering inwardly and he cannot help expressing his unpleasant emotions, simply because he is weak. Identifying, considering, the expressing of unpleasant emotions, are manifestations of his weakness, his impotence, his inability to control himself. But not wishing to acknowledge this weakness to himself, he calls it 'sincerity' or 'honesty' and he tells himself that he does not want to struggle against sincerity, whereas in fact he is unable to struggle against his weaknesses.

"Sincerity and honesty are in reality something quite different. What a man calls 'sincerity' in this case is in reality simply being unwilling to restrain himself. And deep down inside him a man is aware of this. But he lies to himself when he says that he does not want to lose sincerity.

"So far I have spoken of internal considering. It would be possible to bring forward many more examples. But you must do this yourselves, that is, you must seek these examples in your observations of yourselves and of others.

"The opposite of internal considering and what is in part a means of fighting against it is external considering.

"External considering is based upon an entirely different relationship towards people than internal considering. It is adaptation towards people, to their understanding, to their requirements. By considering externally a man does that which makes life easy for other people and for himself. External considering requires a knowledge of men, an understanding of their tastes, habits, and prejudices. At the same time external considering requires a great power over oneself, a great control over oneself.

"Very often a man desires sincerely to express or somehow or other show to another man what he really thinks of him or feels about him. And if he is a weak man he will of course give way to this desire and afterwards justify himself and say that he did not want to lie, did not want to pretend, he wanted to be sincere. Then he convinces himself that it was the other man's fault. He really wanted to consider him, even to give way to him, not to quarrel, and so on. But the other man did not at all want to consider him so that nothing could be done with him.

"It very often happens that a man begins with a blessing and ends with a curse. He begins by deciding not to consider and afterwards blames other people for not considering him.

"This is an example of how external considering passes into internal considering.

"But if a man really remembers himself he understands that another man is a machine just as he is himself. And then he will enter into his position, he will put himself in his place, and he will be really able to understand and feel what another man thinks and feels. If he can do this his work becomes easier for him. But if he approaches a man with his own requirements nothing except new internal considering can ever be obtained from it.

"Right external considering is very important in the work. It often happens that people who understand very well the necessity of external considering in life do not understand the necessity of external considering in the work; they decide that just because they are in the work they have the right not to consider. Whereas in reality, in the work, that is, for a man's own successful work, ten times more external considering is necessary than in life, because only external considering on his part shows his valuation of the work and his understanding of the work; and success in the work is always proportional to the valuation and understanding of it.
Now, let's come back to the issue: why did Gurdjieff say and do a lot of the things he said and did? My answer is "External considering." Gurdjieff had an amazing knowledge of human psychology. He didn't call narcissism by that name, but you can see from the above that he had a complete grasp of the problem.

In terms of how to achieve his aim - which was concerned with saving humanity at large - he utilized External considering: "External considering is ... adaptation towards people, to their understanding, to their requirements. By considering externally a man does that which makes life easy for other people and for himself. External considering requires a knowledge of men, an understanding of their tastes, habits, and prejudices. At the same time external considering requires a great power over oneself, a great control over oneself.

Now, let me give you a very simple example from my experience as the mother of five children and having worked for years with others, as a social worker, as a hypnotherapist, and as a teacher.

Suppose one of my children has formed an attachment for someone who is entirely unsuitable. By that, I mean someone who is psychologically unsound, a manipulator, a user, you get the idea. Now, suppose I would really like for her to see that this person is so unsound. I'm sure you know that if I say something bad about the boy or girl, my child is going to feel defensive. Why? Because children like to feel that they have independent rights and tastes and so on, and because there is an age difference and the child would perceive my remarks as unfair criticism against a "helpless young person" etc. There are lots of other reasons for this resistance - including rebellion against the parent, etc - and it is commonly known.

But I really REALLY am worried about this situation because this person is REALLY bad news!

Well, I could be honest, sincere, truthful, direct and on and on, and only make the matter worse. Literally anything I would say would drive my child further away from me and right into the grasp of the whacko I am trying to save him or her from.

So, what to do?

It is at this point that a mother forgets all about self-importance ... and figures out strategies that will help the child come to the realization on his or her own FAST! And there are such strategies.

So, think about that for awhile and then apply the principle on a larger scale.
 

ScioAgapeOmnis

The Living Force
#29
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

I think psychopaths want us to tell the truth so they can use it to destroy us. Also people who are asleep and not psychopaths will use the truth to destroy us, to drain us. So what's the point of telling them this? It's not gonna teach them anything, and it's not gonna help us in our goal. Who benefits? Well, their narcissistic personality seems to be the only beneficiary here - their real "I" loses, and our real "I" loses. So when we "serve others", just which part of them are we serving? And which part of ourselves?

I think STO is not just "service to this one guy/gal here", it's service to as many others as possible. If telling someone the truth means we sacrifice ourselves in the process, why are we telling this truth then? Is it really so important, or are we doing it just for the sake of being honest? Then we're being "weak", afraid of lying, we're actually being STS. We're telling the truth because we feel more "comfortable" to tell it, we're assessing what we should do simply based on how comfortable it is (and conversely, how uncomfortable the alternative is) to ourselves. That is internal consideration, osit.

I think probably one way to think about it is - there is no single thing that is STO, no single thing that is STS. Sometimes a lie is precisely what a person needs to hear, and it can do more service than the truth can in some situations. I think probably that's what Laura was referring to in terms of bringing up kids. That you can't just "sit down and be honest" all the time, you gotta consider their "personalities" which means understanding how they will perceive and react, and you gotta work with this - which means the method must be adjusted to the situation, to the person, and not be based on a predetermined template of righteousness and personal moralistic limitations that all come from our false "i", osit.

And it's hard for me to make a comment here because I don't know the details of how it all went, but my guess is that the inaccuracies in the C's transcripts were probably a good thing. It is probably better than if the C's were 100% accurate, with absolutely no corruption at any time. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Laura and we all were served better by a semi-accurate source. It kept her on her toes, it made her check and double-check things. Not to mention, it helped to See Frank, Vinny, etc - although the C's pretended that all was ok in front of them, but gently guided Laura into a situation where she was confronted with what was really going on (mirror session for example), and so she could figure it out herself. God knows what would've happened if the C's just called Frank a psychopath or something, it could've even destroyed everything, Laura might not have believed it, who knows where things could've gone? It could've gone seriously downhill because of a single truth at the wrong time to the wrong people in the wrong way. But when Laura figured it out herself, there was nothing the psychopaths could do to manipulate her, to change her mind, etc. If the C's said it, and Laura didn't really know it yet herself, it could've been a disaster considering that they would've gone into overdrive.

I think sometimes the C's had to lie because of who was at the board, or had to be "coy" or just vague. Sometimes they are very dead-on and shocked Laura and everyone on the board, sometimes they seemed to conform to people's expectations instead and did not stir the pot, which could mean being "covert" and hiding the truth. They know that Laura will figure it out, and in fact, if she feels something is one way and it doesn't jive with what the C's say, it actually gives her an impetus to get to the bottom of it, which she might not have done if everything "felt" right, or so it seemed to me. So I think in the end, the point is to SERVE others, which is the goal, but when to lie or hide the truth and when to tell the truth, and how to do it, totally depends on the situation, not on any "STO checklist", osit.

I know some of the corruption is not intentional of course, but I think both kinds is good in the end. Intentional aka strategic "corruption" is good, and unintentional/interference kind of corruption is good, because it all ended up teaching the group a lot.
 

kenlee

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
#30
Gurdjieff and the question of the soul.

alwyn said:
Well, I think there is a huge tendency to both lionize the man, and to neglect the man at the same time. Much of what he did was credible and worthy. Some of it was pretty havey-cavey, and some of it really messed people up. Wouldn't it be better (and more truthful) to take what was good and useful, but also to know that there are some distortions, and to be on the watch for them? This is the work of the soul, for cryin' out loud. Ya don't want to mess up here.
What amazes me is how you say that people were 'messed up' by Gurdjieff. I also get the impression that the story you related earlier in this thread from the book Meetings With Remarkable Men about his 'Magical Beauty Poultice’ adventure (assuming it was more then an allegory) was a subtle way for you to validate the above statement and show that Gurdjieff was just out for himself. You might want to question your own views of good and evil. In my opinion they seem to me to be somewhat convoluted and you might want to review what Gurdjieff said on conscience (which has already been posted) and understand that there is good, there is evil and then there is the specific situation that mediates the two, the 'mediator' being the human conscience (and consciousness) which is not based on conventional morality that we learn from mechanical imitation and mimicry.'

Then you say:
'Much of what he did was credible and worthy.'

Yet you invalidate his larger Service to Others work by citing some example of Gurdjieffs 'STS’ness' in his difficult struggles within this dung infested Service To Self world that we all live in just so he can wake up sleeping humanity to the Terror Of The Situation that we are facing today.

In seems to me that this is an example of ‘topsy turvy' thinking where you mistake the small for the large and mistake the large for the small and mistake the near for the far and mistake the far for the near and you completely overlook Gurdjieffs larger Service To Others (STO) work for humanity by focusing on those small things that Gurdjieff did within the context of a a specific situation within this Service To Self (STS) world. So it seems to me that you are choosing to define him within this smaller context rather then defining him by the fruits of his work within the greater context of helping humanity.

Then you say how he 'messed up' people. I’m always absolutley amazed at this because these so called 'messed up' people never acknowledge the fact that they received something invaluable from his teachings (or the man), and never ever acknowledge the personal jeopardy he put himself under to bring this message to mankind but yet, since they could not handle looking into themselves, which is an essential part of his work, such people will 'lash out' to destroy his work, just so they can validate their little opinions of themselves. The bigger picture be damned, let the Earth and all who are on it burn up into a crispy critter and go to hell just so they could maintain a narcissistic view of themselves. They never acknowledge what they received and even if they do, these 'messed up' people always have to put that little jab in to minimize and insult the man and then they cry and cry as if they were 'wronged'.

Yep, they always gotta put that little jab in. By invalidating the man they invalidate his work and by invalidating his work they validate their beloved false opinion of themselves. That’s all that matters to these people who you say are ‘messed up.’ Their vanity could not feed and they are angry at this 'loss' as if something was stolen from them that rightly belonged to them . That’s the extent of their being 'messed up.' But of course such people never acknowledge or appreciate the Truth that was shown to them (that they 'asked' for) and if they do say they appreciate it they don’t sincerely mean it because narcissism cannot be truly sincere about anything. Gurdjieff taught becoming conscious and connecting to our conscience. That is our only hope against our narcissism.

As Gurdjieff pointed out to his pupil Orage (From Teachings of Gurdjieff by C. S. Nott). 'You know, Orage, when you give something to a man, or do something for him, the first time he will kneel and kiss your hand; second time, he takes his hat off; third time, he bows; fourth time, he fawns; fifth time, he nods; sixth time he insults you, and the seventh he sues you for not giving him enough. You know, Orage, we must pay for everything.'
 
Top Bottom